An Open Letter to Suzanne Collins | quetzal's Blog
Dear Ms. Collins,
Really? Really? That’s how you had to end it? Wow. I am quite disappointed. Quite. So, I was okay with Katniss going back into the arena for book 2 (totally called it!), but did there have to be a Games scenario at the heart of each book? Did there, really? The pods in the Capitol were a bit much. And then killing off Prim anyway? What kind of sick, cruel irony is that? Not the good kind. I mean, I’m usually all for the sad ending, but I think maybe there was too much going on. Or really, it just wasn’t handled very well. Of course Katniss survives, but did both Gale and Peeta need to? No. Why is Gale still alive? He was bleeding from the neck and was shot twice? Katniss, you should’ve ended him when you had the chance. Or there needed some more resolution between them other than “Oh, were those your bombs that senselessly murdered my sister? You don’t know? Fuck you.” Also—how does no one “know” whose bombs those were/why they were there? Snow’s all like “Don’t look at me, it wasn’t my idea” and Gale’s like “Idk and neither does Beetee” but someone has to have planned it and I want to know who and why.
The whole third book was ust disjointed and chaotic and the tone was too different from the others. Katniss was too drugged up half the time and there was too much going on inside her head. It started off promising, and I liked when she went to the districts and got into trouble. But when she became a “soldier”…I’m not a fan of District 13 and their organized operations. They were too Capitol-like with their propaganda…I just kept wanting Katniss to break off from Coin and follow a better direction because it seemed odd that she would keep working with them. All she needed to do was infiltrate the Capitol and assassinate Snow, which she ends up trying to do anyway, 200 pages later! Much nonsense could have been avoided. Why did they need to secure all the districts first, really? It only takes one person to kill Snow, and once one gets to a certain point within the Capitol, apparently it’s pretty easy to wander around.
I mean, there is just very little explanation of anything. I was under the impression that book 3 would wrap up loose ends but it only killed off practically everyone from book 2 (Finnick!) without a thought and left even more questions unanswered. Come on. I can’t believe the book was actually published the way it is. Was there ever another Hunger Games? I’d like to think no, since it was Coin’s idea and Katniss killed Coin (one satisfying twist), but it’s never said. Nor is there an explanation of Katniss’ agreement to it. Was she agreeing only to please Coin, so she could kill the woman? Was that what she and Haymitch understood? Or was Coin’s assassination a last-minute decision? (I’d like to think the former, but don’t be afraid to spell it out for us!) And then for Katniss to be left alone so long…and her trial. Too convenient that she just got off like that without another word. Back to District 12. And what did people think of Coin’s assassination? Were they actually happy? Couldn’t we have gotten some indication? Did they support Katniss in her trial??
Other questions: what happened to the rest of the (surviving) victors? And did Finnick have to die? Really? Couldn’t we at least get more than a sentence on his death?
Really, you could have split Mockingjay into two books to answer all of our questions. It was too fast-paced (while some parts dragged unnecessarily) and characters were dropping like flies.
By this point, Katniss has been through an immeasurable (almost unbelievable) amount of pain and suffering—shot, stabbed, poisoned, family dead (side: why was Prim even at the front lines?)—and she seems on the verge of insanity (again). Then Peeta shows up, after Haymitch and basically everyone else just disappears. But even then no explanations…not even a good scene really between Katniss and him. Haymitch drinks, Peeta bakes, Katniss hunts. Peeta and Katniss get married and have their little peaceful suburban life. Bullshit! No way. They can’t just settle down like that, like nothing ever happened. Also—what about Peeta, anyway? Are his memories still damaged? Has he had more treatment in the Capitol? How did he get so badly burned as well? Did Prim’s treatment for his memories work at all? Can he still remember everything, even if some memories are distorted? I mean, his character was all but destroyed in this book, and there is virtually no time spent building him back up into a loveable person.
Finally—the epilogue. I don’t even want to begin. Okay. There should not be an epilogue at all, especially considering the epilogue added nothing whatsoever to the story. The book was fine where it ended. Oh, they got married. That could already be inferred. Oh, they had kids—a boy with her hair and his eyes and a girl with his hair and her eyes. Omg, gag me please. That’s so…teenagery! Ew. Oh and—no, wait, that’s it. What? Yes. That’s it. Nothing else. No mention of what the other victors are doing or what happened to Gale. Nothing about the entirety of Panem and how the whole revolution went or what kind of system has been set up or how the Capitol people adjusted or what the standards of living are. But besides all that, it’s unacceptable to me that Katniss and Peeta settled down to a normal life. They couldn’t have, even if they’d wanted to. They’d been through too much. They’d been too important. There’s no way they would just have been left alone—the rest of the country can’t have just forgotten about them. They were celebrities and rallying points. I think they would still have to be involved in politics somehow. It bothers me that everything they cared about or that mattered to them before just suddenly ceased to matter. Granted, some of these things no longer existed, and they’d been through a lot of trauma. But they never saw Gale or his family again? Or Katniss’ mother? Or Johanna? And Peeta never got to use his words to win over another crowd? I think he, at least, should have been politically involved.
But we don’t know. And this would’ve been fine, to leave it open-ended. But there’s an idiotic epilogue standing in the way…cancelling out my imaginings with a few inane passages.
Anyway, the only reason I have ranted on so long is because I care about this series and these characters. I had such hopes for the third and final installment, and they were totally crushed! And I realize that the answers to many of my questions can be inferred or puzzled out by readers, but my point is they shouldn’t have to be, especially considering the first two books were not written in this way.
A Disappointed Reader
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